Reader Reviews

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Reader Reviews

“Ground Manners is a riveting and entertaining book that all animal supporters will love, and all people should read and appreciate. The inventive story line and intense build up to the climax made it hard to put the book down – I had no sense of time as the story came together. Being an “insider” on horse welfare issues brought on some tears, but there are many triumphant moments that will make you cheer too! While reading the conflicts between horse protectors and their exploiters, there’s a formidable underlying theme of discontent on a higher, global level. The book also sends out a strong message of love that lifts your spirit. Cynthia D’Errico has done her research and will compel the reader to learn more about Quebec’s rich history and of course, Le Canadien, the National Horse of Canada!”

–Shelley Grainger, Vice President, Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC)

“It is a great story. I must admit, you know about horse psychology. Even at the very beginning, (one enjoys) your description of their behaviour. Un roman inspirant et savoureux jusqu’à la dernière ligne!”

–Evelyne Villers

“Part romance, part adventure, part animal rights advocacy, Cynthia D’Errico’s novel “Ground Manners” is a wonderful book. As a breeder of Canadian Horses, it was a special delight to follow the fictional heirs of actual historical people involved in saving the Canadian/le cheval canadien from extinction decades ago. The development of both human and equine characters is rich with connections to landscape of Quebec, history of horse breeding and old, bad blood in the horse slaughter industry. There is plenty of intrigue to keep the reader engaged and well researched facts about both animal rights issues and the breed information on the horses. The magical connection between horse and human is epochs old and completely refreshed for today’s reader in the central character “Skye” and her ability to communicate with the herd of rescued horses. Ground Manners is an easy read and I recommend it for all ages.”

–Betty Baxter, Five Winds Canadians, Roberts Creek, BC Vice-Chair, Canadian Horse Heritage and Preservation Society (CHHAPS)

“What a masterpiece! This thriller is a very fast-paced tale triggering numerous images, sensations and emotions, challenging your brain constantly. Knitted around a back-bone of genuine historical facts about Québec’s geology and history, land/coast erosion and the Canadian Horse breed, characters evolved through love, compassion, fear, hostility, envy and greed. So many twists and turns, I felt like I was watching a multitude of very short movies projected on huge screens at a very fast speed. Generously surrounded by a myriad of lovely details, you believe that you are part of the plot, that you are living in the middle of it…” (Read More…) 

 –Chantal Girard, P. Eng, MBA

“Ground Manners by Cynthia D’Errico is a roller-coaster book of thrills and heart-pounding drama. I have never been so absorbed, and never read a book so fast before in my life – just couldn’t put it down. Ground Manners has actually got me interested in reading again. It was thought provoking, captivating and I so wanted to be part of the group of characters – I so wanted to meet them in person – crazy! The love and trust between human and horse, as well as between the horses themselves is so eloquently expressed that you are engulfed in the deepest of bonds. Being a horse owner and lover I felt so greatly the vulnerable side of the horse, which Cynthia puts into words so gently that you are exhausted from emotion. The details of horse slaughter are few, but the terror is felt and written between the lines – the horror and evil is understood. Powerful read!”

–Marie Dean, Waterford, Ontario, Supporter of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC)

“What a lovely story!  I just fell in love with Ulric…”

–Joan M.

“This novel is powerfully written and researched to perfection. It manages to keep one entertained, informed and excited all at once. Although fictional the subject matter of horse treatment and slaughter here in Québec, as well as abroad is a serious issue. The book also speaks about ”le Canadien” (the Iron Horse) of Québec. It also touches on romance, however not what we’re used to from the Harlequins. Another issue of critical importance to this reviewer is the mention of land erosion, which affects us all. It is my opinion that this is a quality novel which is composed as well as a finely-tuned symphony. Treat yourself. Experience it!”

–K.M. Dufour

“Author Cynthia D’Errico, BA 82, combines and brings Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty and a Dick Francis thriller into the 21st century in Ground Manners. D’Errico lets the horses tell their own stories while their current caregivers battle the bad guys right to the riveting denouement.” (Read Article…)

–Concordia University Magazine, (Editor:  Howard Bokser) Summer 2011

“It is a wonderful story, well written and very well thought out. it has all the makings of a “Best-Seller”. The horses, the people, and the general theme are captivating. Once you start reading, you don’t want to stop! It’s very precise and articulate and very entertaining. I put it up with the best of authors I’ve read. I recently finished a novel by Louis L’Amour, and frankly I enjoyed yours more. That says it all. Please continue to write. Not to do so would be a dis-service to your now growing readers and fans.”

–Ronald D. (Fan of Louis L’Amour westerns)

“Loving it!! The story sure catches your interest from the beginning. I was into it right away and love your writing style. It’s a wonderful book that touches on many subjects. First and foremost, it is a love story between man and horse. At times I wondered if the author herself could communicate with these magnificent animals. It is also an introduction to Quebec geology and history. It is a mystery book…so much going on, so much action; it just keeps you reading on. And it teaches us the beauty of nature and all its living things. Loved the book–Hope there are more to follow.”

–Sima B.

“I didn’t know much about horses other than that they’re beautiful and powerful, so strong. I love their grace. I went to see “Cavalia” a few years ago and it amazed me. Your novel was informative, witty and sad all at the same time. I love that you added the French language. It was a true vision of Quebec because you toggled between French and English; it wouldn’t have been realistic for me if you hadn’t done that! I liked the storyline, even though it seemed at first a little confusing because there are so many characters, but once you know who they are, you catch on fast. I liked the short chapters. I was amazed at all the research that went into writing this book. It’s a powerful story and I feel that some activists and non-activists are going to come knocking. All in all, it was grrrrreat!!!”

–Gloria S.

“…Bravo pour Ground Manners. J’ai adoré ce roman qui nous fait connaître, autant par sa clientèle équestre que par les déboires et le dévouement de la propriétaire, l’univers exclusif d’un refuge pour chevaux abusés. Les personnages sont bien campés et l’histoire riche en action et rebondissements.
De plus, cette auteure québécoise anglophone a su capter par son style distinct l’essence patrimoniale de son milieu en implantant dans son récit des faits et des lieux historiques qui ne font qu’enrichir le contenu sans jamais tomber dans la rhétorique.
Enfin, ce roman vous fera découvrir à travers les expériences de Skye, Zia, Guyanne et Chano le message passionné de l’auteure.
Bonne lecture!”

–Johanne D.

“Extensively researched, this literary and educational work is destined to entice avid horse advocates to make their voice heard where changes need to be made concerning the slaughter of horses, a practice which still exists in the beautiful province of Quebec. The author stays true to the charm of the province by inserting the French language throughout the story and by giving the gift of speech to the animals thus delivering her message in a more pungent way. The plot for me seemed complex as it is not a subject that I am familiar with, and at times, I needed to reposition my thoughts, but I must say on the whole, D’Errico really did a great job. Well done!”

–Diane B.

“Ground Manners is an interesting novel that was written from the vantage point of, among others, horses. This refreshing look at the relationship between man and horse is well written, with a good flow that sweeps the reader up into the storyline. The interplay between the characters, both human and equine, was well orchestrated and the descriptions of local Montreal-area topography were vivid. The Afterword was a useful addition as a tool to bring the whole story full circle. Another added bonus was the interview with the author – call it the personal touch. My one criticism is that there were too many short chapters – I think several could have been collapsed – but that said, it does not detract readers from enjoying the story. I would recommend this to readers of all types.”

–P. Smith, Ph.D.

“J’estime que l’auteure manie bien les figures de style (métaphore, catachrèse, comparaison, entre autres). Le vocabulaire est riche et recherché. Le style est franc, non ampoulé, ni alambiqué, et le message passe bien.” (Read More…)

–Madeleine de Laat

“Loved the book… very different read — I knew very little about the slaughter and terrible plight which horses go through. I was recently in France, and noticed that horsemeat was available , not only to buy in butcher shops, but sometimes on the menu. It sickened me to think that people would eat such an animal. Thank you Ms. D’Errico for enlightening us and advocating for this worthy cause…”

–Laura Santelli, Connecticut, USA